Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tomas Sandstrom Autographed Card

A slick, skilled and tough Swedish winger, Tomas Sandstrom may have been able to crack the 1000-point mark had he not run into injuries for 4 of his last 5 NHL seasons, only one of which he played more than 60 games in; all told, he scored 394 regular-season goals, got 463 assists, good for 857 points in 983 games (and 32-49-81 in 139 playoff games).

He was almost a point-per-game player with the New York Rangers, but it's his performance with the Los Angeles Kings that struck me the most, especially in their 1993 Stanley Cup run that was cut short by my hometown Montréal Canadiens in which he finished third in scoring, behind only Wayne Gretzky and Doug Gilmour. During the Finals, Sandstrom even helped make NHL history by being the shooter who inspired Patrick Roy's most famous wink:

But that's ok, because Sandstrom wasn't shy about making faces himself, as evidenced by this 1993-94 Series 1 card (#188 in the set) by Upper Deck:
I never actually got to meet Sandstrom, but as a teen, my family had season tickets to the Habs, and in grade 10 (1993-94), my parents let me try to gather autographs after games, provided we got home by 10PM. After a 4-0 Saturday night game against the Kings, I made my way to the visitors' end and waited for players to come out. Sandstrom never did (perhaps because he'd gone minus-2 on that night), but Darryl Sydor was kind enough to get me this card signed, in black sharpie. I got Sydor to sign an index card for me, but it was destroyed in a flood as a result of the 1998 ice storm.

This (and its black 'away' variant) remains my favourite Kings uniform ever.

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